5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Working in the Creative Design Field.
My desire to pursue a design degree was never intentional. Being a multifaceted person, I was interested in many different fields; film, liberal arts, teaching. Never really sure what a degree in design would lead me to, all I can say is that I underestimated it greatly. The way my cookie crumbled brought me here — as a creative consultant.
For those of you who are lost and confused about your professional path in life, here are a few things I wish someone would have told me before I embarked on my creative journey.
So with out further ado — you’re welcome in advance.
1. Imposter Syndrome
To sum it up, Imposter Syndrome basically means when you feel like a literal imposter. When you feel like you don’t belong in a specific environment (in this case work) and it’s as if you’re a fraud amongst actual professionals. The truth of the matter is, we’ve all been there. We’ve all felt these feelings at some point, and these thoughts will pass! Just hang in there and believe in yourself!
2. All for Fun / Fun for None
Expressing your creativity is one of the most therapeutic things a person can do. Although, in the real world, sometimes you’ll be expected to work on certain projects or with certain clients that you might not resonate with or even like at all; one must remember that this is all a learning process, and even if the work you’re producing is so boring and/or time consuming, it’s worth it in the end for your own professional (and even personal) growth. I promise.
3. Client’s Wants > Your Wants
Being an opinionated person comes with its perks, as well as its disadvantages. We’ve all heard the saying “the customer is always right”, even in the creative field, that is somewhat true. You may create a project that you wholeheartedly believe is a work of art, almost as beautiful as one of Picasso’s paintings, but... if the client doesn’t like it, it doesn’t mean smut. You as a creative must learn to listen to your clients wants, as well as giving in your input, but not forcing them upon it. There is a fine line between convincing and obliging.
4. Right Designer / Wrong Project
Like everything in life, things have their strengths and weaknesses. You aren’t going to expect a candle to heat up a cup of tea for you, are you? You too have your own strengths and weaknesses, and so do your coworkers. That’s the best thing about working with a team, everyone contributes something different making the outcome amazing! So, accept help from others. Remember: work smarter not harder.
5. Creative Blocks
When you turn your hobby into a job, that is when things may get tricky. This thing you once viewed as an escape, is now something you can’t escape from. Well at least just for 8 hours a day / 5 days a week. During this time, you will most probably face some sort of creative block, and it is normal! Working on something for long periods of time can cause a person to burn out and get mentally frustrated. My advice to you is breathe, take a little break, and move onto something else until you feel a little bit more creatively capable to tackle that challenge again.
If there’s one thing I’d like you to take away from this is that passion is the root of everything!
I never really knew any of this before I started and I turned out fine, so don’t worry.